by Caitlin Saniga
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package fast-rising active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups water, warmed to 110 degrees
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 egg white, beaten
In the bowl of an upright mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast. In a separate small bowl, combine the water and salt. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Beat at a low speed for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides with a spatula the whole time. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Using your hands to mix, gradually add the remaining flour until a very stiff dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. Add flour as you go if you find the dough is too sticky to handle. Meanwhile, bring an oven-safe pot of water to a boil on the stove.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the surface of the dough in oil. Cover and place on the top rack of an unheated oven. Place the pot of hot water on a rack below, and close the oven door. Let the dough rise about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
On a lightly floured surface, punch down the dough. Cover it with bowl, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough into a 15×12-inch rectangle. Beginning at the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly, sealing as you roll. Taper the end of the loaf.
Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle cornmeal over the surface. Place the loaf diagonally on the pan, seam side down.
Make 1/4-inch-deep cuts about 2 inches apart along the top of the loaf.
Cover and let rise until the dough doubles in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the pot of water back to a boil.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add a tablespoon of water to the beaten egg white, and brush over the top and sides of the loaf. Place the pot of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the baking sheet with the dough on the top rack and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and quickly brush down with more egg white mixture. Bake 20 minutes longer. Cool on a rack 15 minutes before slicing.
Store in an airtight zip-top bag for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe adapted from: Food.com
*We’re loving the smell of fresh bread wafting from our ovens in February. See all of our On the Rise bread recipes here.